Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

A question was raised on whether Junior Crehan’s "Her Long Golden Hair" and Scott Skinner’s "Cameronian Highlander" are flings or hornpipes. The clip in question is of the Mulcahy Family at http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_237_1_the_mulcahy_family_in_concert and hopefully some of our experts here on the Yellow Board will be able to give the definitive answer. Whatever about the type of tune, the music is well worth a listen in any case.

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

I can’t answer your question Bannerman but I do know the first time a musician friend from Scotland heard it played in Ireland(made popular firstly by Stocktons Wing), he nearly had a baby feeling that it had been butchered !! Although it is still a nice tune in my opinion!

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

In the days of Ceili Dances we classed Flings and Barn dances in the same mould, and played any hornpipe or polka that fitted the tempo required. I’m talking Polkas as in Bluebell/Primrose type polkas here. There is a part of the dance where the couples have to hop twice on each foot and turn at the same time. So the tempo should be right to accommodate such moves. The second tune in the Mulcahy set is a very well known pipe march and as such is normally played in march tempo. Consequently I can see how a pipe music enthusiast might cringe when listening to their version..but hey..what the hell..it’s all music to the ears.

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

Just an added point about the difference between Flings and Hornpipes. There are two tunes I play that go together quite nicely and which I always class as been an excellent example of Flings. ‘The Yellowed Haired Laddie and The Man from Newry.

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

Rightly or wrongly I also considered Keel Row and Green Grow the Rushes as good examples of a fling tempo but this would be at variance with the tunes on the clip which is why I’m confused. The Cameronian Highlander was also recorded by Danú on one of their CDs and sounded great but not having heard the original Scott Skinner version, I don’t know how it compares. In any case I’d agree with your comment free Reed that it doesn’t really matter as "..it’s all music to the ears"

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

"Ceolachan" told me a fling and a hornpipe are structurally different: a flig is single, and a hornpipe is double. So "Her Long Golden Hair" is structurally not a fling, and in fact virtually the same as the traditional hornpipe "Moll Ha’Penny."

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

…and then there’s the Highland "Casey’s Pig" that I learned from a Comhaltas video.

…which turned out to be "The Kerryman’s Fling" on a Patrick Street CD.

Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

flings are not hornpipes,although hornpipes may be used for flings
.flings are not very suitable for hornpipe pattern dances such as Belfast Duck
in ITM,there are fast hornpipes that are used for hoppies,when dancing in sets[tunes like the keel row,and some say the Devil is Dead are ideal.]
Then there are slow dotted hornpipes,used for solo dancing,and for particular dances such as the Blackbird,JobofJourneywork.Garden Of Daisies,RodneysGlory.
Finally there are dotted hornpipes for pattern dances such as the Belfast Duck,that are played faster than the Blackbird etc,but not as fast as the hoppies.,
Highlands are often a growth from strathspeys.
in the end tunes can be altered and used for different dances,for example I have heard Johnny Cope Played as a march or a or polka or a hoppie.and I have heard the Scholar played as Reel or a Hornpipe. Dick Miles

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Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

Highland Fling basics (Highland Schottische) ~
AABB = 16 bars, and more usually a second ending of at least two measure for the repeat of the B-part. Traditionally swung, but some who have distance between themselves from the dance that accompanied this form (2,3,4-hand ~ and square sets / quadrilles) have tended to play them flat out. Consequently many are now known better, or played so, as single reels. That has even, but others, been assumed to be ‘the’ tradition, a misconception based on a very short moment of their personal history, and gross generalization. Some of these melodies have even been inflated, doubled, and played as a full 32 bar double reel… 8-)

Apologies for my absence, we have ill family in Cymry to attend to…

P.S. The melody so perfectly forms around the dance, and vice versa, including the dance defining second ending…which has the option of being double, or 4 pivot steps, with or without the hop. With the hop that would be ~ hop 1, hop 2, hop 3, hop 4… The numbers being ‘Step’…

Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

There’s little if anything ‘fling’ about the playing of these two tunes, as they are ‘reeled’ off one after the t’other, however relaxed and talented the delivery…

Re:Her Golden Hair was Hanging Down

I’ve put my transposition of the two tunes, as played by the Mulcahy family in this recording, in their respective places.
The recording here is in D#(Eb) but I have written them both out in ‘D’ to make them more palatable to myself and hopefully others.
"Her Golden Hair was Hanging Down"
https://thesession.org/tunes/2006

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Re: Are They Flings or Hornpipes?

Thanks ceolachan for clarification in that neither of the tunes on the video are played as flings. Would I have been correct though in assuming that Keel Row and Green Grow the Rushes are good examples of a fling? Also many thanks for transcribing the tunes as played by the Mulcahy’s - without wishing to upset Llig, I always find it quicker to absorb tunes with both the audio and the dots!